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Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.
World

Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

Grand Ayatollah to Pope Francis: “Thank you for saying Islam is not equal to terrorism”

August 22, 2016. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi sent a letter to Pope Francis to thank him for his words on the flight back from Poland, a few weeks ago: "It is not right to say that Islam is a terrorist faith.” In his letter, the Shia religious leader has strongly condemned terrorist attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups. He has also stated that "the vast majority of the Musilm people consider all Takfiri sects to be outside the fold of Islam.” Makarem Shirazi is one of the 64 Grand Ayatollahs in Shia Islam and, as such, one of the highest authorities in matters of Islamic dogma and law.
World

Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

August 9, 2016. Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims in the wake of Hurricane Earl through a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The hurricane killed at least 45 people in Mexico and 13 in the Dominican Republic and caused an estimated $50 million in damage.
World

Pope sends his condolences following attack that killed 70 people at a hospital in Pakistan

August 9, 2016. The terrorist attack at Quetta Hospital killed dozens of lawyers and left 120 others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

August 2, 2016. Six women and six men will study the diaconate of women "with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

Aug. 1, 2016. Today Fr. Lombardi officially ceases to be director of the Vatican Press Office and becomes the president of The Ratzinger Foundation. Father Federico Lombardi will chair the board of the Vatican foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Until now it was run by president Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti. The Ratzinger Foundation promotes the study of theology, organizes cultural and scientific congresses and rewards the work of scholars and researchers in different fields.

First Year as Pope: Top 10 list to understand Pope Francis' pontificate

2014-03-11

It's been a year now since Pope Francis was elected. In these past 12 months, no one has been left indifferent. From the unusual circumstances under which he was elected, to the so called 'Francis' effect that's made its way across the globe. 

1- HELP 

As he introduced himself to the world, the first thing Pope Francis did, up from the balcony of St. Peter's, was bow his head and ask for prayers. The thousands of people gathered out in the Square, began to pray for his pontificate

POPE FRANCIS 
"I would like to bless you...but before I'd like to ask all of you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses his flock, I ask that you pray to the Lord, so that He blesses me. The prayer of the people, asking for the Bishop's blessing.” 

It was surprising at first, but soon it became a hallmark of his pontificate. 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Don't forget, pray for me.” 

2- AUSTERITY 

His personal style also caught the world's attention. From his dress style to his car. 

He kept using the same black shoes he used before the conclave and also the same silver pectoral cross. He refused to use the papal Mercedes, opting instead for an Italian middle class car. 

Not just in Italy though. In Brazil, during World Youth Day, he also opted for a simple car

The crowds followed as the Pope made his way through the streets of Rio, with the windows partly open. Brazilians loved it, but the Pope's security team wasn't that amused.

3– PRESS CONFERENCE 

Without a doubt, the moment that marked his style was the improvised press conference he gave on the way back from Brazil. 

With the Vatican's spokesman at his side, the Pope had a 'no question is off limits' presser, for an hour and 22 minutes. 

This marked a new precedent. He has agreed to more than five thorough interviews. 

4- THE SICK

The Pope has a special place in his heart for the sick. Before celebrating the first Mass of his pontificate, he stopped the popemobile and embraced an ill person. It was a moving moment and since then the Pope has repeated the same gesture countless times. 

Including the embrace of Venicio, at the end of the audience. 

5- IMMIGRANTS 

The plight of refugees and immigrants who are forced to flee their native country is a major concern of Pope Francis. His very first trip, back in July, was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of immigrants have died in their search for a better life. In his speech, the Pope used very direct words to make his point. 

POPE FRANCIS
July 8, 2013
"Who has cried for the people who were in that boat? Who has cried for the young mothers who brought their children? Who has cried for the men who were looking for ways to support their families?”

6– PEACE

As Syria dealt with its civil war and with the threat of an American attack looming, the Pope led a prayer vigil to ask for peace, along with thousands of people. With his constant appeals for peace in conflict ridden countries, the Pope was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

7- ENDEARING 

One of the most endearing moments happened at the 'World Meeting of Families' when this 6 year old Colombian boy decided he wanted to be next to the Pope at all times. Even as the Pope read his speech. Again, the Pope didn't seem to mind. 

8– JOKES 

When it comes to Pope Francis, there's never a lack of mate tea, since Argentine pilgrims usually offer some to the Pope. Images like this one are seen quite frequently. The Pope usually cracks a few jokes along the way. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"The kid is anti-clerical.” 

POPE FRANCIS 
February 14th, 2013 
"We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family, or perfect husband or wife. Not to mention ... the perfect mother in law.” 

9– HIS BRIEFCASE 

The Pope's schedule is always packed. He has meetings in the mornings and in the afternoons, so it goes without saying that he's always ready to work. The image of Pope Francis carrying his own briefcase, as he boarded a plane to Brazil, outlined his intentions. He wasn't going to World Youth Day as a tourist, rather he was ready to get things done. 

10- BENEDICT XVI 

The image of two popes praying together made its way across the globe. Pope Francis has visited Benedict XVI at least four times. The Pope has described him as a wise grandfather, he can consult. The last time they met was during the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica. 

As the Pope begins the second year of his pontificate, more moving and surprising moments are expected. Especially as he heads out to the Holy Land in May and then in October as he leads a Synod on the Family. 


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